From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
In advance of McCain's energy speech in Houston, the Obama camp attacked the presumptive Republican nominee by saying he's "flip flopped" on drilling off shore and that his energy policy "does not represent the change we need."
The Obama campaign rolled out two more former Clinton supporters, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, to make the points.
McCain has "flip-flopped on drilling off the coast," Nelson said. "He used to be against it; he's for it now… drilling off shore does not lower oil prices."
McCain is proposing a "gloss over" as a way of "pandering" and what the country needs is a long-term strategy, Vilsack said. "We need to move away from oil, not more oil," Vilsack said.
Nelson added that the U.S. only has 3% of the world's oil and uses 25% of the world's oil. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know" that "you can't drill your way out of this problem," he said.
"America has never needed an energy policy more than it needs one today," Vilsack said, citing high gas prices, the loss of manufacturing jobs and a "shrinking middle class."
Nelson claimed that "speculators" are the biggest problem and should be the biggest target in order to lower prices. He added, "This is the Richard Pombo plan being pulled up the shelf for his speech today. That was soundly defeated back then."
Pombo lost his reelection bid to Jerry McNerney in 2006. Defenders of Wildlife called Pombo "the biggest anti-environmental extremist in the House of Representatives."
*** UPDATE *** McCain camp had this response: "Just as he demonstrated with the 'Surge' strategy in Iraq, Barack Obama is now faced with the challenge of skyrocketing gas prices, but is once again driven by partisan ideology, ignoring facts on the ground and failing to take principled action for the American people. Hardworking people are struggling with record high fuel prices, but Barack Obama has opposed gas taxes relief, refused to allow individual states to increase energy exploration and threatened important trade agreements that provide more affordable forms of energy."